Other countries facing common ed-tech struggles

  • Continued implementation throughout the district, beyond the innovators and early-adopter groups.
  • Enhancing assessment-based instruction and pedagogical models.
  • Boosting school principals’ instructional leadership.
  • Establishing effective pedagogical models for students, including oral communication, critical thinking, higher-order tasks, effective feedback, and assessment practices.
  • Making available effective support systems for teacher learning, within a networked model.

KPDSB employs four coaches and classroom technology support teachers to help its educators apply concepts, said Lindy Henderson, who is one of those support coaches. Coaches focus on what does and doesn’t work when it comes to teacher professional development, and also work to facilitate a culture of learning.

“We want to adopt a community and a culture that’s global, where we know that our best resources aren’t always in the walls of our classroom, in terms of research and pedagogy,” Henderson said.

Next up for KPDSB are efforts to deepen engagement through inquiry-based learning, and to explore how online communities can help teachers and principals.

Also critical, said Lynn McGaughey, a KPDSB elementary school principal, is the role of the school principal and coaches. Effective pedagogical models make room for coaches to take explain those models to teachers and leaders, and to show educators how to model those concepts within their own buildings and classrooms and with existing technologies.

“We are a very small board, we’re very nimble, and we have a good capacity to do this kind of work,” McGaughey said. “Our goal is to go beyond providing technology to our students—we want to look at this as a system perspective, changing not just in the classroom but across the board.”

Next, district leaders will try to answer a handful of new questions:

  • What do effective tech-enabled learning organizations look like?
  • What is sustainable for KPDSB?
  • What are the most relevant and effective professional learning models?

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Laura Ascione

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